Title: Raptor Recalibration, Game 4: Lessons from the Nets sweep with Celtics on deck
Date: August 24, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic, my playoff day-after playoff column wrapped up a Raptors sweep of the Nets with an eye ahead toward the Celtics.
Ralph Lawler, the legendary voice of the Los Angeles Clippers, once simplified the race to win a basketball game. A full-game precursor to the Elam Ending, Lawler’s Law dictates that the first team to score 100 points will win. The logic follows pretty easily: If you’re the first to 100, you’re either ahead late or ahead by a lot early. Even as the league’s offensive environment has increased, Lawler’s Law is a simple benchmark to measure a game’s flow by.
Today, we amend Lawler’s Law with The Paul Watson Proof: The first team to score 100 bench points is definitely winning.
That’s what the Raptors did in a 150-122 Game 4 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, the first sweep in Raptors franchise history. It sets up another first for the Raptors: A playoff meeting with the Boston Celtics. In acknowledgment of the fact that Raptors fans are probably quicker to pivot to Celtics anxieties than take a victory lap around an overmatched Nets team. Today’s recalibration frames as much of the first-round series as we can in terms of what it tells us ahead of a date with the Celtics.
As established last postseason, the morning after each playoff game, we’ll reconvene here to try to sort through all of it. We’ll look at key plays, key statistical trends, the major between-games adjustments, coaching decisions, and whatever else strikes me as noteworthy.